What can you tell us about the Clove Club?
In its current form, the Clove Club is comprised of Johnny Smith and Daniel Willis on front of house and Isaac McHale in the Kitchen.They've all had huge hits together before as Young Turks (with James Lowe) and more recently with "Upstairs at the Ten Bells". All of those ventures were either pop-ups or long term residencies, however, often focusing on single set menus. This new venture is their first permanent collaboration, and one they funded through a recent crowdfunding enterprise.
They've opened up at the recently revamped Shoreditch town hall, with a mixture of the lauded set menus, some a la carte options and a separate bar area thrown in - with its own menu too.
Where is it?
In the place where it's all happening at the moment, Shoreditch - right on the boundary of Hoxton at the end of Old Street. It's walkable either from Shoreditch High Street or Hoxton overgrounds, or from Old Street station. Just look for the Town Hall and you can't miss it.
Where should I meet up for a drink first?
There are dozens of options in the immediate area - almost too many to mention, so in this case we'll concentrate on the Clove Club bar, which is probably the perfect meeting place if you're heading in for dinner. The bar is particularly worth mentioning as it's the only place where you'll hear Daniel's playlists - surprisingly, they've made the decision to keep the restaurant music-free.
In the bar, there's a small cocktail list with prices at around £8-£9 and if you're just popping in for a drink and a snack, there's a good sized bar menu with cheese, salumi and some cold and hot plates. It's definitely worth popping in for signature dish the buttermilk chicken and pine - and there are a few larger dishes on offer in the bar too.
Where should I sit?
As mentioned, if you prefer a soundtrack with your meal, then the bar is definitely the place for you - but if you're after the tasting menu, then it's into the restaurant with you. There, all seats are good - but if you fancy taking in the bustling kitchen which takes up one end of the room - make sure whoever you're with lets you face that.
Is bread included?
If you're having the tasting menu - then yes, there's a healthy amount of bread on offer alongside - but if you're going for the a la carte, it'll be £3. But the bread is always well worth it here, so we'd highly recommend.
And what should we order?
If you've never had the tasting menu at one of the Clove Club or Young Turks' previous offerings, then we highly recommend starting with that. There a standard and a vegetarian option, and you can swap things out if something doesn't quite take your fancy, so you're bound to have a menu that has just what you want, The menu will change regularly with seasonal ingredients, so it's always hard to give instructions on what to order (with the exception of the aforementioned buttermilk chicken).
However, this time along the food, as usual, did not disappoint. Particular highlights were the grilled squid with tarragon and green radishes and we absolutely loved the rib of beef with ramson and potato. It was perfectly cooked, and the potato - flattened, rolled and fried, was a revelation in itself. The vegetarian course was also filled with some ace dishes, particularly the warm fennel, walnut and seaweed.
In all, it's a filling meal and at £47 for five courses and a round of starters (radishes with some gochuchang and black sesame sauce that we'd buy by the bottleload if we could) you'll have a far better meal than in many west end or City restaurants.
We've been unabashed fans of Danny, Johnny and Isaac ever since we first encountered them at the Loft many moons ago. They've been going from strength to strength and their latest venture is now one of the hottest places in Shoreditch, and one worth returning to many times. We'll be back to prop up the bar for some snacks and cocktails as soon as we can.
The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT. Find out more about The Clove Club.
Prices were correct at time of writing. Hot Dinners were invited to eat at The Clove Club.